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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

Biden can't cancel student loans, says court

President Biden can't cancel $430 billion in student loans, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled.

Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi

Chief Justice John Roberts cited a 2021 statement by then House Speaker Nancy Pelosi: "People think that the President of the United States has the power for debt forgiveness. He does not. He can postpone. He can delay. But he does not have that power. That has to be an act of Congress."

Biden's plan would have canceled up to $10,000 in federal student loan debt for borrowers making less than $125,000 and up to $20,000 for Pell Grant recipients.

The White House argued that the HEROES Act gives the executive the authority to “waive or modify” the law in a war or other emergency. But the executive can't "rewrite that statute from the ground up," creating "a novel and fundamentally different loan forgiveness program," Roberts wrote.

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